Author Archives: Fritz Bogott

About Fritz Bogott

250 volts, plate to cathode.

Mythical Cities of Southwestern Minnesota

“Mythical Cities of Southwestern Minnesota” is a poem by Megan Kurashige. I found its title irresistably evocative, so I have reused it here. Please forgive me, Megan.

Southwestern Minnesota contains several lost cities
but for our purposes here we’ll focus on one
lost since 1871
when a Lakota grandmother
ironically named Letty Swenson
became fed up with its streets
(to say nothing of its citizens)
and shut her eyes to it forevermore.

In an instant its prosperous Belgians,
lapsed Hutterites, sodden Germans,
bewildered Swedes and lone Korean
vanished from the prairie
and became suddenly and helplessly self-sufficient
in what amounted to a soap bubble in time.

Elsa Schultz
buxom and plain
had planned to steal a horse
and ride it clear to Sioux Falls
in search of better prospects
but had to settle for Sven Lindberg.

Jon Glazer
lost two-thirds of his income
unable to sell saddles
(and and feed, and tack, and medicine)
to his customers seven miles away
in Ghent.

Kim Cheol
(whom we won’t neglect)
had planned to travel to Marshall
to attend the Swedenborgian church
instead made peace with his god
among the Methodists.

If you visited it today
(I would not know how, but perhaps you do)
you would find two thousand souls more or less
nice folks, harmlessly inbred
who would be pleased to meet you
invite you to supper, pass you a hymnal
but lacking the imagination
to fathom why Letty was so pissed.

Image CC-BY-SA by Raphael Quinet

The First Child Born in Outer Space

The first child born in outer space
was an accident
the result of an impulse–a joke, almost–
between two people who don’t even like each other.

Sex was slippery
and awkward
like climbing a tree
or jumping off a roof.

Continuous free-fall
has advantages and disadvantages.
It’s a curse in the first trimester
and a blessing in the third.

Childbirth in space
is exactly the hell you’d imagine.
Gravity is no help,
and the father is a bully.

Our baby floats there
in a cloud of afterbirth
eyes open wide
too startled to cry.

Vigeland fetus CC-BY-NC-SA by rwhgould


Per pushed the scrap of paper onto the floor and stared at the remains of his chili.

“You dropped this,” the waitress said, handing the paper back.

“It’s not mine,” he said.

She shrugged and carried it off with her armload of dirty dishes.

He mashed the last cracker crumb with his spoon.

“Is this yours?” the busboy said, holding the paper out.

“Not mine,” Per said.

The busboy ignored him and left it on the edge of the table.

Per took out his lighter, lit the corner of the paper, held it for a second while it caught flame, and dropped it into the chili.

“Hey,” the waitress said.

“Sorry,” Per said. He rose and left a five-dollar bill under his water glass.

The air outside was sharp. He zipped his jacket.

The door opened behind him. “Is this yours?” the manager asked, and handed him a scrap of paper.


Continue reading

Pasta Fazool

2c mixed beans and lentils (My grocery carries a nice mix for cheap.)
12 oz Italian sausage links (Make sure you like them; the flavor is going to dominate.)
1 red onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 big carrots, chopped
14 oz can tomato sauce
two quarts water or stock
2 bunches kale, sliced the short way into fine ribbons
1c strozzapreti, penne, ziti, etc.

Soak beans overnight (or boil briefly and soak for an hour).
Drain and rinse beans.

Remove skins from sausage links.
Cut links into bite-sized rounds.
Brown sausage in oil, in soup pot.
Remove sausage from pot and set aside.

Saute onions, celery and carrots in sausage fat until softened and slightly caramelized.
Add tomato sauce.
Add water.
Add beans.

Bring to boil.
Reduce to simmer.
Simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. Add water if necessary.

Return browned sausage to pot.
Add kale.
Simmer for thirty minutes.

Add pasta.

Simmer for fifteen minutes, or until everything is done to your liking.

Season with salt (I use “Better than Bouillon” brand chicken base instead of plain salt, for richness) and pepper.

Boy Meets Girl at a Cockfight

I asked Andrea Carlson to draw a mini with me for Twin Cities Zinefest this year. She said, “Sure, as long as it includes sexy ladies and scary monsters.”

Pot Roast

3-4 pound chuck roast
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
handful ginger, finely chopped
handful garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground star anise
1/4 tsp ground chili pepper
peanut oil
fish sauce
soy sauce

rice noodles, prepared according to package directions

Suggested accompaniments:
bean sprouts
chopped shallots
sliced green chilis
basil leaves
cilantro leaves
mint leaves
lime quarters
hoisin sauce
chili sauce

Brown roast in oil and set aside.
Sauté onions and ginger until onions are soft.
Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
Add sugar and spices and sauté briefly.
Add a cup of water to pot and bring to boil. Stir and scrape any cooked-on bits off the bottom of the pot.
Return roast to pot and reduce heat to very slow simmer. Cover tightly.
Cook until roast is falling apart, around 3 1/2 hours. Add water as necessary.
Add fish sauce, soy sauce and msg, to taste.

Cut the roast into bite-size chunks and serve with the pan sauce over noodles, with accompaniments as you like.

Image CC-BY by benketaro


“Look at Yaro over there,” Kola said. He pointed at Yaroslav, who was shouldering a quadruple-sized tube of construction adhesive. “Nobody does demolition like a Cossack. Nobody in the world!”

The apartment was sliding out of the tower like a popped-loose Lego block.

“Russians, Georgians, Chechens? They think demolition is all C-4 and iron balls. Fuck them! We Ukrainians destroy with finesse!”

Yaro’s crew was swarming over the apartment, attaching a canopy of fat steel cables.

“Yulia,” he said. “What a goddess! There are no men in Kharkiv, you know that? Yulia went there to do some shopping, and all the men died of erections. Even some of the women!”

The crane was lowering the apartment toward the flatbed.

“When she gets home and finds her apartment missing—I’m telling you—Ivaniak’s head is going to explode! Explode! Even before she tells him!”

I checked my watch.

Kola punched me in the shoulder so hard I staggered. “You’re not the one who has to worry, my friend,” he said. “You’ll be safe at home, masturbating over your new treasure. Never mind that we will still be here tending to our angry friend.”

The apartment reached the truck, which sagged under the weight.

“I hope for your sake that you live in a mountain fortress with several large dragons keeping an eye out for Ivaniak! If you’re really unfortunate he’ll send you pictures of Yulia!” Serhiy pulled up in a sedan. “Time to go!”

We climbed in.

“I’m sorry,” he said, “but Chinese cars are shit.” He patted the headrest in front of him. “Korean cars are shit. Russian cars are not even shit.”

Serhiy’s head sank deeper into his shoulders as we accelerated.

“I have all my cars built for me in Latvia. In Latvia, they know cars!”

“I hear in Los Angeles they know cars. But compared to Riga…”

We turned a corner at speed and our tires skipped across the road.

“I’d like to tell you that the best cars come from Ukraine. I’d like to tell you Kiev is car capital of the world. Even Sumy!”

“But compared to Riga, Kiev is shit. Los Angeles also, compared to Riga. You think they can build cars like this in Los Angeles?”

We were now speeding along a country road.

“But now?” he said, flipping down a screen, “Now, we watch pornography!”

Image CC-BY-NC-SA by colemama